Almost three months after The Salesman won Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards, Iranian director Asghar Farhadi has finally accepted his Oscar.
Farhadi received the statuette during the opening ceremony at the Cannes Film Festival in France on Wednesday. In his acceptance speech, Farhadi praised Cannes as a “place where cultures speak to one another”.
The director boycotted the 2017 ceremony following Donald Trump’s controversial travel ban which prevented anyone travelling from seven Muslim-majority countries – Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen – from entering the United States.
At the time, Farhadi announced in a statement to The New York Times that even if he were granted an exception to Trump’s ban – which was eventually blocked before the ceremony – he had decided not to attend the Oscars.
The Academy publicly denounced the ban, calling it “extremely troubling” and there was outrage across the film industry. Keira Knightley and Dominic West were among celebrities who planned an anti-Trump protest by screening The Salesman outside the US Embassy in London on the night of the Academy Awards.
This is not Farhadi’s first Oscar win – prior to The Salesman’s victory, the director also won Best Foreign Language Film for The Separation in 2012.
Farhadi was in Cannes this week to open the annual film festival alongside Lily-Rose Depp.